I love it when I unearth a hidden gem. For many people, Vampire Survivors was just that. However, stand aside you pixelated addiction, cause a new ruler has landed! OTXO is a cruel, moreish, and bloody awesome game that’ll make you swear, scream, and smile. Every element of this time-bending noir bloodbath is cruel, stylish, and gruesomely sexy. As such, this is my and many other gamers’ not-so-guilty pleasure.
Developed by Lateralis Heavy Industries and published by Super Rare Originals, this is a gory rogue-like shooter. What’s more, you rely on oodles of luck and a healthy slice of skill. Each playthrough guarantees to shock and appal you as you blast your way past humans and weird creatures. Consequently, you’ll witness hellish destruction as you carve your way through a creepy and secretive mansion.
OTXO is a déjà vu nightmare!
I adore a simple but brutal gameplay loop. Fortunately, OTXO takes this idea literally as you endure and enjoy a cruel déjà vu nightmare. On top of this, no matter how good you think you are, the NPCs and their demonic creatures are always much better. Therefore, you must bend time, dodge bullets, and use your surroundings to your benefit.
You control a nameless man who falls into a trap. As he travels on a train with his loved one by his side, a strange thing happens. A masked individual disappears and his brilliant white mask is all that remains. For reasons unknown, the protagonist places this weird item on his face and the world goes blank. From here, the hero awakens on a beach where he is called an OTXO. Moreover, his loved one has been taken! Their salvation is found at the centre of the mansion, but getting there is no mean feat. If he dies, and he will, his progress is reset and he must start again.
You cruel animal.
OTXO’s plot is twisted, sinister, and wonderfully horrendous. However, its gameplay is so brilliant that the story plays second fiddle. With a simple concept at its core, it is easy to pick up and simple to play. Yet, the speed at which the action unfolds, and the punishing nature of each foe keep you on your toes.
Each playthrough follows a similar format. You start in the bar of the mansion. Here, a bartender offers you a free drink that acts as a perk. With three choices at your disposal, you can increase your speed, improve your health, guarantee a gory killing spree, and so forth. Whatever you choose, it will adjust your tactics and play a key part in your survival. Alongside the barkeep, you can alter the guns on offer, or bankroll a smuggler.
Once you’ve finished in the lobby, you cross the threshold and start your mission. Each stage has a range of foes hidden in each room. The aim is to kick down the doors, unleash your bullets, and move on. However, how you clear each room is entirely your choice. You can kick the shit out of every person, or you can lob a grenade and watch the claret fly. Alternatively, you can use your focus to slow time and dodge every projectile. Whatever you decide, you must avoid being hit if you wish to survive.
What if John Wick, Agent 47, and Neo had a baby?
OTXO is a sexy and smooth game that is reminiscent of some phenomenal action films. Consequently, it was as if John Wick, Agent 47, and Neo had some sort of strange love child. Thanks to the gory and relentless action, wonderful stealth moments, and time-defying incidents, you’ll feel empowered and godly.
Unsurprisingly, these godly moments soon end as your run comes crashing to an end. However, if you are lucky enough to make it back to the lobby, you can buy more perks, or invest in the smuggler. If you do the latter, you’ll improve the liqueur on offer, and get an instant boost. This is essential, as each new step into the mansion becomes considerably harder. With random rooms full of lore, giant bosses to defeat, and bigger waves of monsters and humans to annihilate, it tests you at every moment.
OTXO is beautifully monochromatic.
I adore a monochromatic approach. Thankfully, OTXO gets things right with its contrasting tones and red blood splatters. The chilling simplicity of the visuals juxtaposes the madness that ensues. The hero must move through a labyrinthine world filled with danger and foes. As bullets fly, paper, vases, furniture, and windows explode. Moreover, each kicked-down or blown-open door is a thing of beauty. If you then consider the incredible focused moments, you’ll fall for every stylish incident that unfolds.
The incredible visuals are complemented by a cracking soundtrack. The audio is a thing of ear-splitting beauty as bullets rip through the air and explosions ring out. What’s more, the aggressive music gets your blood pumping as you leap, roll and sneak your way through every stage.
Use your Steam Deck to take the madness into the wilderness.
Steam Deck has been a revolutionary tool for gamers. Though OTXO isn’t verified for this platform, I can confirm it works perfectly. Thanks to its excellent controls, amazing layout, and responsive inputs, you’ll soon become an action hero. What’s more, there is no stopping you from killing waves of enemies as you commute to work, or relax in your bed.
The bite-sized levels, unfairly cruel playthroughs, and almost unending perks ensure a reason to return. Alongside this, the action is perfectly balanced as the gameplay becomes consistently harder the further you progress. What’s more, the rogue-like elements keep you on your toes as death takes away everything you’ve earned. As such, this is a gory and cruel title that is moreish and oozes longevity.
OTXO deserves every accolade going.
The Game of the Year title gets thrown around like confetti. However, OTXO seriously needs to be considered as a forerunner for this year’s category. Not only is it great value for money, but it’s brutally charming, surprisingly simple, and unbelievably gory. Moreover, its audio is incredible, visually it is sexy as hell, and I can’t stop playing it. Yet, its borderline sadomasochistic tendencies are almost unfair. Therefore, if you don’t like to be challenged, you may find this fairly frustrating.
If you enjoy a testing, gruesome, and surprising game that keeps you playing, then this will be right up your street. It is for these reasons that I recommend that you buy it here! Can you save your loved one from the mansion? Grab a gun, kick down every door, and kill everything in sight. OTXO will get under your skin, kick your ass, and demand that you return for more. Accordingly, don’t miss the opportunity to become a superhero in this gloriously cruel endeavour.